EPA proposes selective pesticide ban

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Recently proposed a rule that would create pesticide-free zones to allow honeybees to partake in pollination activity without the risk of toxicity from select pesticides.

The Center for Biological Diversity said this is a step in the right direction as neonicotinoids have been shown to have negative effects on pollinating species such as bees, butterflies and birds. The rule would disallow the spraying of insecticides in areas when bees are brought in to pollinate crop fields.

“EPA is taking an important first step to protect commercial honeybees from toxic pesticide spraying,” Lori Ann Burd, Environmental Health director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said. “This is a good start, but there is much more to be done to protect our pollinators from the millions of pounds of insecticides used in this country every year.”

Neonicotinoids cause entire plants to become toxic to pests and pollinators alike. The use of these compounds has already been banned in the European Union, and next year they will be banned in wildlife refuges in the U.S.

“More than 100 million U.S. acres are planted with seeds drenched in bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides,” Burd said. “Countless studies have linked these toxic seeds to declines in honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bee populations, and the EPA has found that they don’t even provide any benefits to farmers. To save America’s pollinators, the EPA needs to take the next step and immediately ban neonicotinoids, especially these poison seeds.”

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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